21 March 2017


I am a fan of Jeff Greenfield, although our political persuasions are probably miles apart.  He is a wonderful writer and is as measured as one could hope for when it comes to American politics.  Thus, I commend this article to any reader. 

As I watch the mental midgets—especially Senators Schumer, Whitehouse, Blumenthal, and Franken, I am particularly drawn to this quotation:  “And the process is made worse by the uncertain grasp that many of the senators, on both sides of the aisle, have about the subtleties of constitutional law. (I am waiting for the day when an exasperated nominee challenges members of the committee to ask a question without reading from the talking points prepared by their staffs; in many cases, the silence would be deafening.)

Senator Schumer’s resort to innuendo and New York smear tactics is particularly reprehensible.  Senator Whitehouse is merely a “no load.”  (A term from electrical engineering with respect to motors and electrical circuits: it means that nothing is connected to the shaft and it is not doing any useful work,”  a perfect definition of the Senator.)  Senator Franken is perhaps the most qualified Democrat in the Senate; he is a stand-up comedian!

Judge Gorsuch is eminently qualified to sit on the United States Supreme Court, as were, inter alia, Judges Robert Bork and Merrick Garland.  In regard to Judge Garland, on 24 March 2016, I wrote this.  

Of course the Democrats are unhappy that President H. Clinton did not get to appoint the next Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. Of course they are unhappy that the Constitution does not have a provision with respect to advice and consent that is similar to Article I, §7, cl 2.  (“If any Bill shall not be returned by the President within ten days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the Same shall be a Law, in like Manner as if he had signed it, unless Congress by their adjournment prevent its Return, in which Case it shall not be a Law.”)

But, as that esteemed legal scholar and lecturer in Constitutional Law, Barrack Obama, JD, observed: “Elections have consequences… .”   The Democrats lost the House in 2010, Senate in 2012, and the Presidency in 2016.  If the Democrats had nominated anyone other than the most divisive presidential nominee in recent memory, the second most divisive presidential nominee in recent memory would not have succeeded the second most divisive president in recent memory . 

The miracle is that any honorable man or woman would subject himself or herself to the scurrilous examination of the likes of Al Franken in order to serve our Nation.  The blessing is that, in spite of the unbelievable political history of the last nine years, we have the prospect of yet another honorable member of the Supreme Court, lack-weights such as Senators Schumer, Whitehouse, Franken, and Blumenthal notwithstanding.

12 January 2017


A couple of nights ago, President Obama gave his “farewell address”, not from the Oval Office as has been the “tradition” since 1960 (President Eisenhower), but from the McCormick Center in Chicago, before a picked band of rabid, die-hard supporters.  In so doing, he once again proved my thesis that he knows how to campaign for office, but never figured out how to be President.  He needs and feeds off of adoring crowds, and will go anywhere, at any cost, to do what other Presidents were able to do from their desks.

Yesterday, Senator Cory Booker, broke with Senate tradition to “testify” at the confirmation hearings for Attorney General-designate Jeff Sessions.  By all accounts, he did so for the TV time.  His so-called “evidence” against Senator Sessions was some dredged up, dusted off allegations from 31 years ago which have been discredited.  All Senator Booker really did was to wrap himself in the King family mantle.

The 2020 campaign began yesterday, and you can bet that Senator Booker plans on being in the thick of it.  We will see if the Democrat Party falls for the trap of nominating yet another ultra-liberal, north-eastern Senator, or if it leaves the howling proponents of special interest and race-conscious politics and concentrates on all Americans.

25 July 2016


Oh, my country, bless the training that from cot to castle runs -
The pitfall of the stranger but the bulwark of thy sons -
Measured speech and ordered action, sluggish soul and un-perturbed,
Till we wake our Island-Devil-nowise cool for being curbed!
When the heir of all the ages "has the honour to remain,"
When he will not hear an insult, though men make it ne'er so plain,
When his lips are schooled to meekness, when his back is bowed to blows -
Well the keen aas-vogels know it--well the waiting jackal knows.
Build on the flanks of Etna where the sullen smoke-puffs float -
Or bathe in tropic waters where the lean fin dogs the boat -
Cock the gun that is not loaded, cook the frozen dynamite -
But oh, beware my Country, when my Country grows polite!
Rudyard Kipling, Et Dona Ferentes (1896)
12 January 2016 Persian Gulf, off Farsi Island
It had been a frustrating voyage for the two-boat detachment making a routine transit from Kuwait to Bahrain.  The departure had been delayed by engineering problems with one of the boats.  When they finally got underway shortly after local noon, the detachment commander [hereinafter, “the Commanding Officer”]
conducted only a cursory briefing for the crews of his two boats
because of time constraints. Each boat had a crew of 5 sailors and
each was armed with both .50 calibre heavy and 7.62 mm medium
machine-guns, a total of 3 weapons per craft.

Several hours into the transit, one boat suffered yet another engineering casualty and the other came alongside to render
Shortly thereafter, two small Iranian boats approached and the
Iranian crews began displaying small arms of the AK-47 variety. 
The Commanding Officer was able to notify NAVCENT (the

Naval Component of Central Command) that he was being hailed,
but shortly thereafter, all communications between NAVCENT and
the boats ceased.

Air assets from USS Harry S Truman began a search and USS Anzio
(CG68, whose motto, ironically, is Stand and Fight) responded.  A
few hours later, it was Anzio who entered Iranian waters in search
of the American craft and engaged in “robust bridge-to-bridge
communications” with Iranian military vessels.  (If there is one good
side to this pathetic story, it is that at least one American Naval
officer that day had remembered to strap on his balls—or her balls,
as the case may be!) At any rate, Anzio was informed that “the RCBs
were in Iranian custody at Farsi Island.”

The crews and their boats were released the next morning and taken
under escort by AnzioThe crews were relieved and transferred
ashore and Anzio put replacement crews aboard the RCBs which
took them to Bahrain.

But then the sickening details began to come out.  What follows
is from a Navy investigation.

As soon as the Iranian boats made their approach, the Commanding
Officer –an officer of the United States Navy of the same rank as
Stephen Decatur, an officer in command of two warships of the United States and of nine American
bluejackets—promptly surrendered.

He did not go to GQ. 
He did not tell the Iranians to “get the hell away from my boats or
I will blow you out of the water.”  (He could have easily done so. 
Four of “ma deuce” would have reduced the small Iranian boats to

He did not tell his crews “Don’t give up the ship!”
He surrendered!
After the Korean War, it was discovered that many American soldiers
and airmen who were captured by the Chinese and North Koreans
had turned their coats, turned on their fellow prisoners, and
collaborated with the enemy.  (Interestingly, hardly any Marines did
so—and  note was taken that in the Marine Corps, an institutional
ethic of honor, self-sacrifice, and loyalty was specifically built into
recruit training, so that Marines would rather die than betray their
Corps or their fellow Marines.)

As a result, President Eisenhower directed that steps be taken to
create an aspirational statement of core ethical standards applicable
to ALL of America’s warriors. To this day, those six

aspirational standards are taught to, and memorized by, every

As a result,
President Eisenhower directed that steps be taken to create an
aspirational statement of core ethical standards applicable ALL of
America’s warriors. To this day, those six standards are taught to,
and memorized by, every American fighting man and woman
starting in boot camp, the Academies, ROTC, and OCS.

I.  I am an American, fighting in the forces which guard my country
and our way of life. I am prepared to give my life in their defense.
II. I will never surrender of my own free will. If in command, I will
never surrender the members of my command while they still have
the means to resist.
But not this poor excuse for an American! He immediately
He had two (relatively) heavily armed warships of the United
States of America and nine American bluejackets under his
I am surprised that Bancroft Hall is still standing.  Surely John Paul Jones must have leapt from his sarcophagus in the Academy
Chapel and dashed to Memorial Hall to make sure that Perry’s
flag was still there, and then…..wept for a Navy that puts
officers in command who are afraid to “go in harm’s way.”
There is an old military saying, probably dating from Caesar's
X Legion, or perhaps from Alexander’s Army 300 years earlier,
or even the Sargon's mighty armies: “Excuses are like ass
holes; everybody has one.”
In this case, the Commanding Officer's was a doozy!
Did he remember San Bernadino Strait (see Part I)? 
Did he remember Captain Ernest E. Evans of USS Johnston who,
at  0700, that awful morning, looked out across the San Bernardino
Strait and saw, not a couple of flimsy little Iranian boats but a fleet
of 22 battleships, heavy and light cruisers and destroyers coming at
Did he consider emulating this American hero who informed his
crew that "This will be a fight against overwhelming odds from
which survival cannot be expected. We will do what damage we
Did he then, take a deep breath and do his duty to his Nation, his
Navy, and all who had come before him?
Did he go to flank speed with his one good boat and attack the
approaching armed enemy—an enemy who had stated its attempt to
board his command, set foot on what is American soil, and thereby
earn the undying respect and admiration of his Country?
Oh, hell no!  
Here, instead, is his confession to the investigators:
"So at that point and time, if I had decided to start a firefight, I know
a lot of my guys would be dead….We all might be dead at that
point….I didn’t want to start a war with Iran either.  I didn’t want to
start a war that would get people killed….”
The investigation by the Navy is still under way.  Only three senior
commanders have been relieved because they have "lost the
confidence of their superiors." 
Well, as they say, duh! 
They clearly failed to properly train their subordinates, and they put
a coward in command of one of our warships.
Uniform Code of Military Justice, Article  99: 
Any member of the armed forces who before or in the presence of
the enemy—…(2)  shamefully abandons, surrenders, or delivers up
any command, unit, place, or military property which it is his duty to
defend;…shall be punished by death or such other punishment as a
court-martial may direct.
So, the Lieutenant should be sweating bullets. But I doubt that this
pathetic Administration will let him go to trial. Hell, they may give
him a medal--the Putting Politics Over Duty Cross." Certainly, John
Criminals” Kerry actually thanked the Iranians for their cooperation and remarked that “we can all imagine how a
similar situation might have played out three or four years ago.” 
(New York Times, 13 Jan 2016)
But there is more!  Our hero, having, shamefully  surrendered his
command without firing a shot took it upon himself to throw out the
rest of the Code of Conduct, too.
III.  If I am captured, I will continue to resist by all means available. 
I will make every effort to escape.  I will accept neither parole nor
special favors from the enemy.
V.  When questioned, should I become a prisoner of war, I am required
to give name, rank, service number, and date of birth.  I will evade
answering further questions to the utmost of my ability.  I will make
no oral or written statements disloyal to my country and its allies or
harmful to their cause.
So, did he suddenly regain his senses and at least try to restore his
honor and do his duty?
Of course not.  He allowed himself to be videotaped telling the
Iranians “It was a mistake that was our fault and we apologize for
our mistake…. The Iranian behavior was fantastic while we were
here and we thank you very much for your hospitality and your
Well, Dayum!!! The American POWs who endured days and weeks
of torture rather than betray their Country must be sick to their
Compare this to Senator McCain. After months and years of torture
and starvation rations, he is suddenly given clean clothes, allowed to
bathe and shave, and then paraded into a room where there were tables
set with fresh fruit and vegetables--and full of TV cameras! One of
his torturers puts a huge grin on his face, sticks out his hand, and says
"Merry Christmas, Mack-Kane."
And Lieutenant Commander John S. McCain, USN, third of that
honorable name, replied " Your behavior has been fantastic while I
have been here and I thank you very much for your hospitality."
Right??? In a pigs eye! He looked right into the cameras, gave
the goo....., er, the North Vietnamese gentleman the finger, and said
"Fuck you! Now let's see you use that tape!"
He later wrote that as a result, he was subjected to "attitude
readjustment"...10 straight days of physical torture. Then, "my
attitude having been suitably adjusted, they tossed me back into my
It is hard to live up to high standards of honor, but so many have and
it is shameful that the Commanding Officer in question did not even
Nor did our President.
According to Reuters in  an article published on 18 January 2016, the
Obama Administration said that the release of the sailors “shows the
power of diplomacy and the promise of its new engagement with
Or…. hearkens back to the  days when the Barbary Pirates could
seize our ships and ransom them back to us. Until our Navy....
and a few Marines...taught them a lesson. Remember, the first time
the American flag was raised over a captured fortress in the old
world, it was at Derna, on the "shores of Tripoli."
Sooooooo, ............I leave this where I started, with a quotation by
Robert A Heinlein, the dean of American science fiction writers
and USNA, Class of 1929: 
“Roman matrons used to say to their sons: ‘Come back with your
shield, or on it.’ Later on, this custom declined.